Top 5 things you need to prepare for NRC Preschool Category: KUBO Challenge

Understanding National Robotics Competition Singapore

National Robotics Competition (NRC) has been an ongoing competition organised annually by Science Centre Singapore for the past 24 years with support from the Ministry of Education, various partners and sponsors. This competition has attracted more than 62,500 participants and 250,000 supporters to date.

NRC spurs students’ interest and innovation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Students will be able to put their knowledge to practise and engage in hands-on STEM learning. With NRC as a stage for students to develop kinaesthetic learning and collaboration, it encourages students to develop problem solving skills, entrepreneurial skills, creative thinking skills and team spirit among the participants. NRC is also an excellent opportunity for students to interact with their peers, teachers and judges from the various industries during the course of the competition.

Every year, NRC revolves around a specific theme. Each team for the Preschool category will have a minimum of 2 members and up to 5 members, accompanied by 1 to 2 coaches. The age group in NRC Preschool (KUBO Challenge) is: 5 - 6 years old.

Understanding KUBO

What is KUBO?

KUBO is more than just a tool; it's a comprehensive educational platform designed to demystify coding for young minds. With its blend of hands-on and digital components, KUBO strikes the perfect balance between tangible learning experiences and digital interaction.

Blended Learning: A New Approach

At the heart of KUBO's effectiveness lies its blended learning approach. By seamlessly integrating hands-on activities with digital tools, KUBO ensures that every child can engage with coding in a way that suits their learning style. This innovative method not only fosters inclusion but also enhances learning outcomes and provides valuable insights into students' progress.

Introducing KUBO Play

One of the latest additions to the KUBO family is KUBO Play, a versatile simulation tool designed to extend learning beyond the classroom. With over 100 tasks covering the full spectrum of coding concepts suitable for Singapore's preschool curriculum from Nursery, K1 to K2, KUBO Play empowers children to explore coding in a fun and interactive way, wherever they may be.

Catering to Preschool to Primary Age Groups

From beginners to budding coders, KUBO caters to students of all abilities and age groups within the elementary bracket. Through hands-on activities and digital exercises, KUBO introduces young learners to fundamental coding concepts such as routes, functions, loops, and subroutines, setting them on the path to digital literacy and future success.

KUBO for educators

Professional Development Made Easy

KUBO simplifies professional development, offering educators a user-friendly platform that facilitates skill enhancement and resource acquisition. Whether a seasoned veteran or a novice educator, KUBO's support and guidance ensure a journey towards excellence in teaching. Partnered with Duck Learning, KUBO Education Academy supports teachers and STEAM specialists in acquiring the competencies necessary to foster student success and engagement. The KUBO Education Academy will use solutions such as KUBO Coding Starter Set, KUBO Coding + Set, KUBO Coding ++ Set, KUBO Coding Maths Set to allow teachers understand the full potential of the sets and how to use them to conduct Character and Civics Education (CCE), Robotics & STEAM Lessons in your school.

You will also be utilising the secondary resources provided by KUBO Education to facilitate your lesson planning and lesson material preparation such as:

Lesson Plan Resources and Ideas (KUBO Curriculum):  

Classroom Management Tool (KUBO Play):

Map Maker (KUBO Map Maker): 

Platform for Home-based Learning (KUBO Portal):

Onboarding Made Simple

Navigating the KUBO platform is a seamless experience, thanks to its intuitive interface and comprehensive resources. Educators can quickly familiarise themselves with the principles of KUBO's TagTile® programming language and the fundamentals of STEAM learning, making teaching with KUBO both accessible and enjoyable.

Cross-Curricular Integration

KUBO places a strong emphasis on cross-curricular integration, recognizing the importance of equipping students with critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills. By seamlessly integrating coding into existing curricula, educators prepare students for success in an increasingly digital world.

Step 1: Creating a team

Understand that teamwork is crucial in this competition category. Your child or student cannot compete solo, so it's essential to find suitable teammates who can collaborate effectively. Look for potential team members among your child's friends, classmates, or even at enrichment learning centres. Always consider each child's strengths and weaknesses when forming the team, ensuring a balanced skill set that can complement each other. If you need assistance in finding teammates, Duck Learning's STEAM Engine learning centre can help connect you with like-minded individuals. If you struggle with team formation, you can tap on Duck Learning’s learning centre STEAM Engine to find teammates for your child or student. For more information on how to find excellent team mates for your child, click here. (

Step 2: Understanding the competition’s rules and format

Before diving into preparation, familiarise yourself with the rules and format of the National Robotics Competition NRC Preschool Category and brief your team. Understanding the guidelines will help you strategize effectively and ensure compliance during the competition. Take the time to review the competition's official documentation, Challenge Booklet on the official website and seek clarification on any uncertainties to avoid surprises on the day of the event. Reach out to directly if you have any questions. Check out the official NRC Facebook Page for more information, photos, videos and updates. 

Step 3: Get your KUBO and the mat

As a coach or educator, ensure that your team has access to the necessary equipment for the competition, including KUBO kits and the designated competition mat. You and your team must familiarise yourselves with the functionalities of KUBO and ensure it is in optimal working condition (make sure it is charged!). Practice setting up the competition mat in an open area with noise and distraction to simulate realistic conditions and provide your team with a comfortable environment for preparation.

It is recommended to get the following items for the competition:

Step 4: Plan and strategize 

Before the hands-on preparation, develop a comprehensive plan and strategy for the competition. As a coach or educator, assign specific roles and responsibilities to each team member, leveraging their individual strengths to maximise efficiency. You can always seek advice from parents to understand more about the child’s interests and capabilities. Then, break down the tasks into manageable steps and establish a timeline for preparation leading up to the competition day. Encourage open communication and collaboration within the team to brainstorm ideas and refine strategies.

Step 5: Practise, Practise and Practise!

The key to success in any competition is consistent practice. You must schedule and make sure your team dedicates ample time  to practise with KUBO, familiarising themselves with its functionalities and capabilities. Focus on refining your strategy, troubleshooting any issues, and improving overall performance through repetitive practice sessions. Lastly, encourage perseverance and resilience, reminding your team that every practice session brings them one step closer to mastery.

Want to know more about KUBO Challenge and how to participate in upcoming competition? Email

Last updated: 14 Feb 2024

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